A preservation battle is brewing over on West 29th Street, where neighbors are petitioning Community Board 5 and the Landmarks Preservation Commission to support the landmarking of the Bancroft Building, at 3-7 West 29th Street, and the row houses between 9 and 15 West 29th Street. Community Board 5 will vote on proposing landmarking next week. While we await the vote, what's potentially landmark status-worthy about these properties, neighbors to Gilsey House? We took a look through the documents submitted to the LPC to find out. The Bancroft building, which dates from 1896 and was designed by Robert Henderson Robertson (what a name!), was home to photographer Alfred Stieglitz's Camera Club, an organization for photographers and home of Stieglitz's renowned magazine, Camera Notes. The present-day iteration of the Camera Club has sent a letter to the LPC requesting the building's evaluation for potential landmarking.
The row houses down the street were home to organizations, too, including the American Geographical Society at number 11 and the Woodcraft League of America, which the landmarking support documents call "a predecessor to and inspiration for the British Boy Scouts organization," at number 13. Mostly, though, the documents' argument in support of landmarking is that the buildings' facades reflect the neighborhood's architectural history, from the 1859 Italian cornices to the storefront conversions made in the early 20th century.
· The Grand Hotel, Gilsey House, and the Evolution of Broadway [Curbed]
· Preservation Watch archive [Curbed]